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#3859: Comments on the election coverage and related topics
From: archim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In no way do I wish to enter into the field of the proverbial
political soccer field, but I do have some questions. I hate to admit
it, but I "giggle" at the comments of some of those who post on your
For example, several postings speak about an "opposition candidate"
being "stoned to death" in Port-au-Prince on Monday. This is great
"yellow-type journalism" geared to sway the reader to the thinking of
the writer. In actuality, Jean-Michel Olophene (the opposition
candidate) merely got in the way of a deadly rock which was not
necessarily intended for him, but was one of many being thrown in a
riot between rival political parties. Jean-Michel was in the wrong
place at the wrong time. Not too different from someone hit by a
passing car driven by a drunken driver. I'm surely sorry about
Jean-Michel's death, but it was not the result of a "stoning" with
intentions to "get Jean-Michel".
Another report (several, as a matter of fact!) about voting ballots
being strewn in the streets or stolen. This is geared by the writers
to make the readers think that the election should be annuled because
of fraud or the loss of the ballots. Neither conclusion is correct. As
one can read in several other postings, especially by Mary Durran of
the OEA/OAS Observation Team, those ballots had already been counted!
It is to be noted that votes were counted at the polling stations as
the votes were cast and tallied when the stations were closed...at the
stations! All those ballots which were stolen or thrown in the streets
had already been counted.
Continuing, I find it really funny (read "hilarious") to read the
comments by the Washington Post which say that the obviously large
support for Aristide "took US officials and many international
observers by surprise". To whom are they listening? Lavalas was
destined to win; we all knew that. When are those "surprised"
officials and others going to come to the realization that the people
of Haiti want Aristide? They elected him overwhelmingly once before,
and they will do it again! Who will try to oust him the next time?
It is to be noted that registered voters in Haiti were required to
vote where they registered...at the same polling station. The
registered voter was required to present his registration card at the
polling station, and the number of that card, plus the registrant's
photo, was checked with the list at the polling station. Those whose
cards matched the list were permitted to vote; those whose cards did
not match, were not permitted to vote at that station.
I do have some questions regarding the aforementioned. I live in
Morne Calvaire (Petion-Ville) and the polling station for our area was
right next door to my house. There was no violence, nor confusion.
However, I stood at my gate and watched the voters come. A large
majority of the voters coming to the local voting station were not
from our area. Most of those voters arrived in large machines
(Mercedes; BMW's; Toyota Wagons; Land Rover's, etc.) and lined the
streets with them up and down in the front of our houses. I never saw
those persons before, and they surely do not live in our area. Why is
it that they voted in Morne Calvaire and not in the area where they
live? Maybe they had registered there believing it was an easier and
safer place to vote. Can anyone explain?
The comment by Poincy (whether properly understood, or not
understood the way he intended), is somewhat illogical in my book. I
think his idea was honesty-intended to help Aristide make a point, but
that point would surely have been a sophomoric and backward move! For
Aristide to declare that he will not run, in an effort to prove to his
critics (and to the world) that he has nothing to do with the
pre-election violence, would be the same as if I were to state that I
would no longer receive Holy Communion in order to prove to the world
that I had nothing to do with the Crucifixion of Jesus!
And in closing, could we please get the word across to all those
reporters that Aristide is not a "former Roman Catholic priest".
Aristide was never deposed and is still recognized by the Roman
Catholic Church as a priest. He was dismissed by his former Salesian
Order, but he was not deposed or "defrocked" by the RC. Church. Had he
been deposed, there would have been no possibility for Bishop Willy
Romulus of Jeremie to perform the marriage ceremony for him without
being deposed himself. Aristide received an "indult" from the Pope of
Rome to be married, and to be married by a valid RC bishop; he remains
a priest in the RC Church, although he is not permitted to function
publicly in the name of the church. Should Aristide care to celebrate
mass in his private chapel, it would be a valid mass and those there
would be able to receive a valid sacrament...as far as the theology of
the RC Church is concerned. According to RC belief, the ordination of
one to the priesthood carries an indelible character with it, and that
can never be removed.
Again, this is not an attempt on my part to enter into the
politiical arena; it is an attempt to clarify...and to get over the
+AM/FM (Archimandrite Michael/Father Michael)
Greek Orthodox Priest in Haiti...and